The number of credit, debit and prepaid cards in global circulation increased 5.8 percent year over year in 2015, hitting 18.08 billion, according to new research from The Nilson Report. That total includes private label credit, debit and prepaid cards for stores, fuel, airlines and medical.
Of the total card base, global brand general purpose cards accounted for about 60.79 percent at the end of 2015. Domestic general purpose cards accounted for 5.53 percent, while private label cards accounted for 33.69 percent.
The report also said that:
- China’s UnionPay cards accounted for 30.10 percent of card circulation
- Visa cards accounted for 16.42 percent
- Mastercard accounted 8.71 percent
- American Express, Discover/Diners Club, JCB and Maestro accounted for a combined 5.57 percent
“By 2020, payment cards are expected to increase 21.3 percent to 21.93 billion,” said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report. “Mastercard and UnionPay are projected to be the only global general purpose brands to increase their share—Mastercard growing 67 basis points to 9.37 percent, and UnionPay growing 248 basis points to 32.57 percent. RuPay and Elo are projected to lead domestic general purpose cards, collectively gaining 96 basis points to 2.79 percent.”
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